skip navigation links 
 Search Options 
Index | Site Map | FAQ | Facility Info | Reading Rm | New | Help | Glossary | Contact Us blue spacer  
secondary page banner Return to NRC Home Page
How We Regulate
Regulations and Guidance
Guidance Development
Generic Communications Program
Standards Development
Licensing, Decommissioning, and Certification
Assessment of Performance
Operational Experience
Events Assessment
Generic Issues
Support for Decisions
Risk Assessment
Advisory Activities
CRGR Reviews
Adjudication (Hearings)

Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities

What We Regulate

NRC's nuclear regulatory activities include the decommissioning of nuclear facilities, which means "to remove a facility or site safely from service and reduce residual radioactivity to a level that permits --

  • release of the property for unrestricted use and termination of the license; or
  • release of the property under restricted conditions and termination of the license."

NRC regulates the decontamination and decommissioning of nuclear facilities with the ultimate goal of license termination. These facilities include

Approximately 200 materials licenses are terminated each year. Most of these license terminations are routine, and the sites require little, if any, remediation to meet the NRC’s unrestricted release criteria.

For more information, see the Status of Decommissioning Program 2007 Annual Report and the Map of Decommissioning Sites.

How We Regulate

Decommissioning program activities include (1) developing regulations and guidance to assist staff and the regulated community; (2) conducting research to develop data, techniques, and models used to assess public exposure from the release of radioactive material resulting from site decommissioning; (3) reviewing and approving decommissioning plans (DPs) and license termination plans (LTPs); (4) reviewing and approving license amendment requests for decommissioning facilities; (5) inspecting licensed and non-licensed facilities undergoing decommissioning; (6) developing environmental assessments (EAs) and environmental impact statements (EISs) to support the NRC’s reviews of decommissioning activities; (7) reviewing and approving final site status survey reports; and (8) conducting confirmatory surveys.

NRC assures that safety requirements are being met throughout the decommissioning process by reviewing decommissioning or license termination plans, conducting inspections, and monitoring the status of activities to ensure that radioactive contamination is reduced or stabilized.

NRC’s decommissioning regulatory activities are coordinated by the Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection.

Related Information

For more information about specific aspects of the NRC’s decommissioning program, see the following:

To top of page

Privacy Policy | Site Disclaimer
Monday, April 14, 2008